Local SEO for Franchises: 3 Common and Costly Mistakes Brands Make

If you’re going to invest in local SEO for franchises, you’d better do it the right way.

To that end, today’s post spotlights 3 of the most common and costly mistakes we see brands make. Read on to learn some quick fixes and start making more out of your marketing budget in 2018.

  • Insufficient citations.

    Don’t worry, this has nothing to do with the kind of “citations” that may have gotten you in trouble on that old high school essay.

    When talking about local SEO for franchises, a “citation” refers to any time your company is being mentioned online. Simply put, a website, user comment, or online directory is “citing” information about your business.

    As was the case in your high school essays, these citations become more effective when they contain more information – but in this case, we’re talking about your business name, phone number, address, and website link, not author names and publishing years!

    The more citations your business has, the more likely they are to be noticed by potential customers.

    To build citations and improve local SEO for franchises, we recommend first and foremost making sure your PAWN is perfect – that’s your business’s Phone number, Address, Website URL, and Name. Obviously, this should contain no errors on your website. But you need to go further and proofread your entire local citation ecosystem. Check Yelp, Yellow Pages, social media, and other local business directories to ensure your PAWN information is correct and consistent before moving forward. Note that some directories won’t let you include a link, and that’s fine – use the NAP acronym instead.

    Next, search the NAP or PAWN information of your #1 competitor, and see which citations pop up. This is as easy as copy and pasting into a Google search bar and noting which websites are listed in the SERP. Once you have this information, you can seek out these citations and directories on your own, and submit your business’s information to bring you up to the level of your competition. This is a great option to improve local SEO for franchises since every region has different local directories.

    Beyond these beginner-friendly steps, your best bet for optimizing citations is to contact a team that specializes in local SEO for franchise (surprise – that’s us!). We’d be happy to talk citation tactics during your free consultation.

  • Leaving local reviewers hanging.

    As mentioned elsewhere on the blog this month, Google rolled out a new update in May 2018 that now notifies reviewers of a business owners’ response within 5 minutes of its publication. That’s changed the nature of online reviews, transforming what was once a way to simply have one’s voice heard into a consumer-owner dialogue. Nowadays, neglecting to respond to reviews left on your GMB, Facebook, brand website, or even third-party review sites is considered poor customer service. And worst of all, those unanswered reviews stay published and highly visible, like billboards advertising your brand’s inaccessibility!

    Leaving a simple expression of gratitude for positive reviews, or an apology/explanation in response to negatives ones, does double-duty for your business. Not only do you build stronger relationships with that individual reviewer, thus increasing their odds of returning to patronize your business or referring it to a friend, but also those review responses show the world your business cares about what its customers have to say. Of course, replying also sends that notification to the reviewer, which instantly ups the number of eyes on your business listing.

  • Poor on-site SEO structure.

    All the thoughtful review responses and consistent citations in the world won’t help you improve local SEO for franchises if your site structure is a mess. Unfortunately, this problem is extremely common in the franchising industry. And the solution goes much deeper than crowbarring some keywords into titles, hammering out some ALT text, and buffing up content quality. But that’s beyond the scope of this article – you can read more about optimizing site structure here

Learn more about local SEO for franchises – start your free consultation with a member of our team by calling 905 564 0020!

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